Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wok out with my...

Aka "Cooking with friends"

Our friend Jen came over for dinner last night, so in honor of her semi-Asian rearing (long story), we decided it was time to pull out the last unused wedding gift — our electric wok.

I have never used one of these things, and the instructions make it sound absolutely terrifying (the sheer number of pages devoted to avoiding an eruption of boiling peanut oil calls to mind that special episode of "Rescue 911" about burn victims).

Alas, no crisped, blistered skin necessitating a trip to the ER, just some delicious garlic chicken, which necessitated a short nap.

Garlic Chicken:
1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken parts
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper thin
1 bunch green onions
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 lbs mung bean sprouts
2 bunches broccoli
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
hot chili paste
cooking wine or sherry (white)
peanut oil (for frying)

1. slice meat about into 1/4-inch thick strips (easiest when still just slightly frozen)
2. marinade meat with tbsp chili paste, 1/2 tbsp garlic, crushed, and a few tbsp wine for 30 min prior to cooking
3. prep all ingredients before cooking begins

Once all of your prep is done, heat the wok according to instructions and throw in your ingredients. Start with the meat, end with the sprouts and green onions. Done.

PS - We served ours over lo mein noodles.

My southern side

There are, from time to time, things that come up in my life that remind me just how southern I truly am.

Like, for instance, when I catch myself pronouncing "our" and "are" the same. Or when I am feeling ill, and all I want in the world is chicken and dumplings.

Since I am not a guy who has the patience for making my own stock or boiling a whole chicken for hours before I eat, my recipe takes some short cuts, but it still fits the bill.

Chicken and Dumplings:

1 large rotisserie chicken, meat stripped of skin and bones
2 medium onions
1 bunch of celery
2 tablespoons garlic
1/2 small bag baby carrots
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups Bisquick mix, prepared according to biscuit recipe
salt and pepper
Cajun seasoning to taste

1. Finely chop onion, garlic, carrots and celery
2. Saute together in pot with a pinch of oil until onions are clear
3. Add broth and chicken, bring to a boil.
4. Mix Bisquick according to the biscuit recipe and drop 1/4 cupfulls of dough into boiling soup
5. Boil uncovered for 10 minutes, covered for an additional 10
6. Add Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper to taste
7. Feel better

*Note: if you want to butch up your stock, you can gently simmer the chicken bones and skin in there for an hour or so before you make the soup. Hell, add a bay leaf or the leafy parts of the celery, what do I care?